What The Teams Said: Pitt Race Finale

Kyle Wyman returned from injury to post solid results at Pitt Race.

The following is from Kyle Wyman Racing…

Kyle Wyman returned to action in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship aboard his Panera Bread Ducati this past weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, finishing 6th and 8th place in races one and two, respectively. 

Wyman’s return to the Superbike grid was long awaited for both team and rider after an 8-week recovery on his fractured elbow, and an aborted attempt two weeks prior at Brainerd International Raceway. Friday’s practice and qualifying session saw Wyman place 6th overall and within striking distance of the top-3.

“After Brainerd, it was apparent that we were not quite ready to return to the grid safely,” Wyman said. “I went home to get some scans done to make sure everything was structurally good and that the bone was healing, and we were able to confirm that. Knowing it was good to go structurally gave me the confidence to start working it harder over the past couple weeks. With that and the ergonomics changes we made to the bike, I was able to ride the full day Friday without too much issue and we set a pretty good flyer lap time at the end of the day.”

Saturday morning’s QP2 session would set the grid as riders put on their sticky Dunlop Qualifying tires. Wyman qualified 8th on the grid to lock in a 3rd row starting position for Race One on Saturday afternoon. A great start would put him 6th on track and he would maintain that through to the end of the race, but with an unforeseen slower pace than expected and a lonely race.
 

“Race one I really struggled with the bike,” Wyman said. “I seemed to have some chatter from the get-go that was originating from the rear tire, even when it was new. Its hard to tell exactly what happened there but I suffered a lot in the middle section of the track, where we spend a lot of time on the side of the tire. For us we got a bit lucky with some attrition that gave us a top-6 but we were not happy with the pace.”

In Sunday’s warm-up session, the KWR team made adjustments to the bike to seek front end feel and mitigate the harsh chatter of the front tire, to some avail. With race two on the horizon, the team was presented with an opportunity to help out a fellow competitor – one who would be Wyman’s biggest rival of the day.

“About an hour before race two on Sunday, our friends over at the Schiebe BMW team were struggling with a stripped out thread in their kit swingarm,” Wyman said. “They came to us for help, knowing that we carried KATO Fastening thread insert kits. We had the size and pitch of thread they needed to get their bike back together and run the race.”

As if it were meant to be, Wyman found himself in a heated flag-to-flag battle with Scheibe BMW rider Hector Barbera as they scrapped over 7th place, trading positions more than 10 times throughout the affair. Barbera would win out in the duel and beat Wyman to the line in a last lap scrap that came down to just 0.117 of a second at the finish line. 

“I got another great start and was hanging onto the top 5 guys in the first few laps,” Wyman said. “We definitely had a lot better pace in race two and I felt a bit more comfortable on the bike. Hector and I had a really wild battle that I will remember for a long time. It was one of those duels that was so challenging and fun to manage, trying to work out the race strategy and get to the line first. In the end, he was able to block me from a lunge in the chicane that I was able to do successfully a lap prior, and hold me off to the line.”

“All told I would say it was a positive weekend, for us to come back and get back in the groove again,” Wyman added. “The elbow was able to hold up throughout the event, but is very sore now that I’ve put in three consecutive days on it and Pittsburgh is no joke when it comes to how physical it is to wrestle a superbike around. I look forward to our little break we have over the next few weeks that will put us in a good position physically to finish the season strong.”

The next round will take place at New Jersey Motorsports Park, where Wyman has a best Superbike finish of 2nd place in 2017. NJMP will host round 8 of 9, September 10-12, 2021 in Millville, N.J..

Jake Lewis won the Stock 1000 race to increase his points lead.

The following is from Suzuki…

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC and Team Hammer were at it again at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, adding more wins, podiums, and pole positions to their season tally while taking another big step toward a pair of national championships.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s MotoAmerica Supersport ace Sean Dylan Kelly was the headliner as has become customary this season. The rising star saw his six-race win streak snapped following a hard-fought fight on Saturday only to come back even stronger a day later.

‘SDK’ pulled off a tactical master class in the rematch, executing a stunning last-lap maneuver aboard his agile GSX-R600 in Turn 11 to secure his tenth triumph of 2021.

Not even 20 years old, Kelly already boasts 17 victories and 36 podiums in his MotoAmerica Supersport career. He’s also closing in on a first career MotoAmerica Supersport championship as he currently leads the title fight by 61 points with just two stops on the calendar remaining.

Kelly said, “Man, the confidence came from the feeling I had in the bike today. It was absolutely amazing. Huge thank you to my whole M4 ECSTAR Suzuki crew … all my guys. I just felt so great with the bike. I feel I played it smarter today, too. Yesterday, I didn’t win and I wasn’t going to let it happen again. You can see I had a different game plan and it worked out to perfection.”

“We did what we had to do. I’m very proud of the work. Today was an important step to the ultimate goal. We’re going to keep on fighting until we reach it.”

Kelly’s M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Supersport teammate, Samuel Lochoff, enjoyed a strong weekend as well, backing up his Saturday fifth with a podium-contending fourth on Sunday. The South African already boasts ten top five finishes during a successful rookie Supersport campaign.

He said, “It’s still my first year, so finishing the year strong means just finishing every race. I’m not really putting a lot of pressure on myself. Obviously, getting podiums is nice, but wherever I finish, I’ve already reached many of my goals. I’m always trying to improve, but I’m very happy with how the year is going.”
 

Meanwhile, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong concluded an inspiring weekend with a much-deserved podium in MotoAmerica Superbike action.

The Californian was robbed of an opportunity to demonstrate his full potential on Saturday due to a technical issue. Undeterred, he started the race from pitlane and ripped his way up through the field, overtaking nearly twenty riders en route to eighth. 

He was forced to start from Row 3 on Sunday as a result, but continued his upward mobility, streaking up to third while pressuring second by the time he took the checkered flag aboard his GSX-R1000R.

Fong said, “It’s been a roller coaster of a year, but I’ve fought through worse challenges before. We just kept our head held high and kept charging. It was a good race. I’m happy to be back up and excited that we have the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki handling well.”
 

It was another steady weekend for second Superbike pilot Cameron Petersen. The South African collected fourth- and sixth-place results on the weekend.

Like Kelly, Altus Motorsports Suzuki’s Jake Lewis enjoyed another weekend that further strengthened his championship hopes. Lewis guided his Team Hammer-built GSX-R1000R to victory from pole to expand his Stock 1000 season advantage to 20 points.

Lewis was also the top Superbike Cup finisher in both Superbike races in Pennsylvania.

After earning his fourth Stock 1000 win of 2021, Lewis said, “It was a perfect weekend. This race was pretty tough. I had pace on the guys all weekend, but they kept me honest in the race. Big thanks to the whole team. The Suzuki has been amazing.”
 

Unfortunately, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris was unable to earn additional Stock 1000 results from his recent strong form. Farris crashed on the original race’s second lap and his GSX-R1000R subsequently went up in flames and burned on the track. That brought out the red flag while pushing the Stock 1000 restart to the end of the day. Farris was forced to watch from the fences after flashing top-five potential in the lead up to the race.

Team Hammer will contest the season’s penultimate round at New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 10-12, 2021.

Travis Wyman battled a leg injury but still finished second in Stock 1000.

The following is from Travis Wyman Racing…

Travis Wyman’s weekend racing at Pittsburgh International Race Complex could easily have ended Saturday in spectacular fashion. Instead, the BMW rider showed true grit persevering though a leg injury to claim a podium finish Sunday and move up from fourth to third in the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 standings.
 
The Las Vegas resident suffered a torn calf muscle while keeping his motorcycle from running into a track barrier in the Saturday MotoAmerica Superbike race, but the contender for two MotoAmerica class titles could not be deterred from taking part in two races on Sunday. Thanks to Wyman’s determination to compete, he maintained second place in the chase for the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Cup and is ninth in the overall Superbike standings.
 
Wyman and the other top five riders in the Superbike Cup practiced and qualified with the Superbike Class — something that had been done at previous rounds. Wyman had a good start to the weekend in Friday morning practice. He finished the session 10th overall and was the fastest of the Cup competitors. Later Friday, Wyman ended Qualifying 1 in 10th and was the second-fastest Cup rider.
 
In Saturday morning’s Qualifying 2 session, Wyman did enough to secure second on the Stock 1000 starting grid and 12th for the Saturday Superbike race despite struggling for grip in the rear tire.
 
The first Superbike race of the weekend didn’t produce the results Wyman had hoped for, but his great save kept him in the Superbike Cup title hunt. Wyman got a good start, finished the first lap in 11th place and moved up to 10th on Lap 3. He was still in 10th when the violent near-crash on occurred on Lap 6. As Wyman exited Turn 2 – the same corner he had a big crash at two years ago – his motorcycle began bucking uncontrollably. Wyman valiantly tried to get the BMW back under control and managed to keep the bike on the track. Though he stayed in the race, Wyman dropped to 13th in the running order and went on to finish 14th.
 
Wyman’s first of two races on Sunday was the event’s lone Stock 1000 contest — though that race wouldn’t be restarted until after the day’s Superbike race. Wyman got a decent start and successfully defended second place into Turn 1. He was running close behind the race leader when the race was stopped due to a crash and bike fire.
 
In Superbike Race 2, Wyman got off the line well from 14th on the grid and was running in 12th place at the end of Lap 1. When another rider dropped out of the race on Lap 5, Wyman moved up to 11th, but ran a lonely race from thereon. He finished the race in 11th, about eight seconds behind the 10th place rider and about nine seconds ahead of the rider in 12th.
 
About an hour after the Superbike race wrapped up, Wyman was back on the grid for the restarted Stock 1000 race. After a good start, Wyman was the second rider through the first corner – a position he wouldn’t relinquish through the rest of the race. Wyman caught up to the race leader midway through the shortened 10-lap race, but discomfort from the injuries he sustained Saturday forced him to back off his pace. His runner-up finish was Wyman’s fourth Stock 1000 podium this season.
 
The team has three weeks to prepare for the last two rounds of the 2021 season, which are scheduled for Sept. 10-12 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J., followed by the season finale Sept. 17-19 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
 
Travis Wyman / No. 10
“I was confident coming into this weekend that we could get back on top of the box here at Pitt Race. Qualifying went great, as we qualified second for the Stock 1000 race. I was looking forward to the first Superbike race, but I had a big moment that set me back a bit. I tore my left calf muscle in the incident, and I woke up Sunday morning not sure if I’d be able to race. I got help from the doctors here and my riding coach, but I knew it was going to be difficult to get through the day. I battled in the Sunday Superbike race to get a pretty good finish – third among the Cup riders. In the Stock 1000 race, I knew if I got a good start and pushed hard early I could break away with the polesitter and battle with him until the end of the race. I just couldn’t push in the last handful of laps due to arm pump and my calf injury. I’m not super happy with second place, but it was great to bring home another podium for the team.”

Two HONOS Superbike races, two podiums for Mathew Scholtz at Pitt Race.

The following is from Westby Racing…

Following up their two Superbike podium results at Brainerd International Raceway, Mathew Scholtz and the Westby Racing team notched two more podium results this weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. In fact, Mathew and the team exactly matched the results from Brainerd with a third-place result on Saturday and a runner-up result on Sunday, perfectly illustrating the team’s and the rider’s collective ability to improve as the race weekends progress.
 
On Sunday, Mathew lined up on the front row in third position, got a good jump at the start, and maintained his third-place position for the first four laps. On lap five, he overtook Toni Elias for third and focused on catching race leader Jake Gagne. As the laps wound down, Mathew managed to cut into Jake’s gap at the front, but there just weren’t enough laps left in the 17-lap race, and he ultimately took the runner-up result at the checkered flag.
 
Mathew commented:
“Overnight, we made a decent TC (Traction Control) change and just one or two torque changes to try to get it out of the corner better. Yesterday, I was just spinning up way too much, so we softened it slightly and made one or two TC changes to get it to hook up better. I felt like it definitely did in today’s race. It felt pretty cool doing mid-41’s during the morning warm up. I kind of knew that I had a decent pace. We were doing 40’s, which was a little bit of a surprise to me. I followed Toni for a couple laps, got past him, and Jake was only maybe three or four seconds ahead. I put in a couple of heater laps, and I closed in on Jake slightly, but then, he obviously noticed that the gap on his board was getting smaller, and he turned it back up. So, kudos to him. Overall, I was really happy just to ride my own pace, my own rhythm, and show that we can be up there challenging. We just need to try to get with Jake for those first couple of laps, and we might be able to do something at the end. But, right now, Jake is riding incredibly well. Well done to Bob (Fong, who finished third). I feel like both of us should have been winning this year, but it seems like things weren’t really working out for us. It seems like we’re kind of finding our way back to where we should be. So, overall, I’m just happy to be back up here. I’ve got to give a huge thanks to the Westby Racing team. There’s a three-week break now. I get to go and see my wife who I haven’t seen in six or seven months, so I’m really happy about that. It’s going to really make me feel better going to Jersey and to Barber having that time with my special person (his wife Kiara). It’s kind of been a difficult year staying by myself with no family and stuff.”
 
Ed Sullivan, Westby Racing Crew Chief, said:
“It was a really strong weekend for Westby Racing. I feel today was our best race of the season so far. We made some changes overnight, and took another small step after warm up, all aimed at improving drive grip. Just as he did at Brainerd, Mathew showed what he’s capable of, and the next two rounds can’t come soon enough.”
 
Chuck Giacchetto, Westby Racing Team Manager, said:
“What did I tell you yesterday? Tune in! I was locked to the monitor on pit road today. This was as sweet as our win at Road Atlanta in the first race of the year. Mathew has proven yet again that he is more than capable of running up front with a vengeance. I am extremely proud of the entire team.
 
“Overnight, Ed and Herschel (Auxier) went to work and from Mat’s feedback, we were able to give him an even more impressive weapon for today’s race. In my opinion, man and machine arrived as one in race two. I hope the entire team feels great about their performance because they were ‘great.’ Special thanks to the diehard MotoAmerica fans. We love all the support you provide.”
 
Next up for Westby Racing is round eight of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey, on September 10 through 12.

The following is from Pure Attitude Racing…

Pure Attitude Racing picked up plenty of points in the latest round of the 2021 MotoAmerica Championship at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex this past weekend, with all four riders, Liam MacDonald, Trevor Standish, Austin Miller and Nate Minster, once again in action in the Twins Cup and Supersport series.

Solid qualifying by all four competitors ensured that the team were once again able to leave Round 7 with a double Top Ten finish and a bagful of points in both categories. The event also saw the return of early Twins Cup points leader Trevor Standish. The #16 had missed several races following his Road America crash and whilst a technical issue forced his retirement, Standish rode through the discomfort to run strongly in the top ten prior to his stoppage.

Liam MacDonald finished P9, consolidating his overall championship position of P8 in Twins Cup, whilst in Supersport Nate Minster and Austin Miller both scored points once again on Saturday, with Nate bagging a double points finish with P13, whilst Austin’s weekend in a DNF after he was taken out by a fellow competitor.

The team now has a couple of weeks to regroup prior to the penultimate round of the 2021 season, taking place in September at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Liam MacDonald:“It was a great race. The track reminded me a lot of Suzuka in Japan. It is very flowing and favors smoother riders but is super intense. It was another new circuit for me and the first time that I was able to race the entire race in a group. It was a lot of fun. I know I could have finished higher than I did but it has been so long since I was in a race long fight that I was honestly just a bit rusty. I must be happy with another top ten and I am already looking forward to the next one in New Jersey. Big thanks to the team who did another awesome job this weekend.”

Trevor Standish:“Unfortunately I made a call to change something on the bike for the race that meant we went in the wrong direction but I powered through and after almost being taken out at the start was able to run some competitive times considering my wrist is still not 100%. Sadly, we hit a small technical issue which meant I had to pit. The team did a great job and I went back out but sadly finished outside of the points. It’s a bittersweet feeling as we were strong in qualifying and I am stoked to be back on track, but we live and learn, and we move onto New Jersey ready to push again.”

Austin Miller: “Race 1 on Saturday was decent, and we were able to finish in the points again which is always the aim. On Sunday I made an ok start and held my position but then I got hit by another rider which bent my exhaust and basically ruined the rest of the race. I did a couple of laps, but the bike was damaged, and we got black flagged. It’s annoying as once again we were looking good for points, but I am taking the positives, we were not a million miles away from the top ten pace wise for the third consecutive race which shows our progress. We will go again in a few weeks.”

Nate Minster: “I made a good start in Race 1 but made a small mistake and lost a couple of positions. I regrouped and fought my way back into contention. We were able to score some good points and I was confident for Sunday. Race 2 went well. I ran P9 for most of the race. It was a bit lonely but then I was told at the end of the race I had jump start penalty which I don’t understand as you can see from the footage that my entire row and those ahead all moved at the same time so I don’t agree with the decision at all. Nevertheless, that’s how it is, and we have to take the positives and move on to New Jersey knowing that we were once again well inside the top ten and not far from the top 6 or 7.”

Jake Gagne won his 13th HONOS Superbike win in a row at Pitt Race on Sunday.

The following is from Yamaha…

Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne once again dominated today’s proceedings at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex to score a 13th-straight win in MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2. The victory also broke the series’ record for consecutive victories, which he had previously set in the past two races. Standing in for Josh Herrin this weekend, Toni Elias had another solid result for the team in fourth.

With Saturday’s victory, Gagne duly took pole position for the second race. After the start, the points leader and his fellow Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha rider launched well to hold first and second after the first lap. The Californian put some distance between himself and Elias within a couple of laps, repeating yesterday’s masterclass performance to run a lonely race out front. He crossed the finish line comfortably with a 6-second margin, increasing his formidable series’ consecutive win record and extending his championship lead to 93 points with six races remaining.  

After another great start in the runner-up position, Elias found himself under pressure from fellow Yamaha rider Mathew Scholtz a couple of laps into the race. He fought hard to hold him off but was passed on Lap 5 and soon had other company. The Spaniard engaged in a thrilling battle after the halfway mark but ultimately was shuffled to fourth on Lap 11, where he would finish.

The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team now enters nearly a month-long break before heading to the New Jersey Motorsports Park for Round 8 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, 10-12 September.

Richard Stanboli – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Today was fun, and Jake rode a safe race for another win. He has such great rhythm, and the crew is doing a great job keeping him comfortable. We made a decent step overnight with Toni’s bike and improved his pace. Unfortunately, that pace was not sustainable, and he had to settle for fourth. Hats off to him for bringing a good atmosphere to the team while maintaining the determination to race at the front. It was a lot to ask of a rider, to race without any testing, and to be competitive, so the results were better than anticipated.

“Also, hats off to Mat (Scholtz) and the Westby team for making it a Yamaha 1-2. We now look forward to seeing our fans at NJ in a few weeks. Josh should be fully recovered by then and in good form, and Jake will do what he does best.”

Jake Gagne – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“It was another great weekend for the whole team! I’m happy to see that all of the hard work that this crew puts in keeps paying off. This Attack Yamaha R1 worked amazing at this track all weekend. I got off to another great start and rode my laps to the end to pull off another win! We’re ready for a little break, and then it’s back-to-back weekends which will be awesome.”

Tony Elias – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“Today, I had more speed but less pace, and I paid the price midway through the race. I was hoping for another podium after yesterday’s result, but anyways, a second and fourth-place finish was more than what I was thinking to achieve for the first run with the R1. It has been a pleasure to work with this amazing bike and team, so a big thank you to Richard Stanboli and the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Yamaha team for the opportunity!”

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